East Texas Naturalist Blog

Information and photographs mainly about nature in east Texas. Our authors have widely diverse backgrounds and write on a variety of topics.

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If I Move - Will the Birds Follow Me?

Belted Kingfisher 12 18 16 3
Red breastedMerganser11 27 16 2
AmericanCoot111116 2
ChippingSparrowPair122616 1
EasternBluebird11 2916 3
PiedBilledGrebe103116 3
PineWarbler11 28 16 2
RingBilledGull120216 1
WhiteBreastedNuthatch11 2916 1

I recently moved my RV from a fairly good nature spot on Lake O' the Pines. I was near the northwest end of the lake and was on the edge of a remote wooded area. In addition, across the highway was another large wooded area. On my lot, I had a pretty good bird turnout year-round. Much of that due to my 9 feeders and lots of other food items that I put out for birds.

Surprisingly enough, it was not that great for waterbirds. Well, not for ducks anyway. There were Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, an occasional Green Heron, White Pelicans during the winter, Cormorants, and Common Coots. Rarely did I see ducks of any kind, other than the Coots. Common Loons which are very common on other parts of Lake O' the Pines were never seen in this more shallow and weedy end, nor were any of the other shore birds that show up on the south end of the lake.

In the late summer, I moved just eight miles away to Lone Star Lake (Ellison Creek Reservoir). This RV park is in a more populated area. There are no woods aound this lake. The park is surrounded by houses, as is almost all of the lake. There is a little bit of a more primitive area at the north end of the lake but it is fairly small.

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Hey, Eagles! How Can I Take Your Picture if You Keep Flying Off the Nest? **A Rerun from 2015**


We put these guidelines out last year after so much interest in the eagle's nest and reports of other nests in the area. 

It is critical that if you find a Bald Eagle's nest (or any bird nest actually), that you follow these guidelines. Bald Eagles and most birds are VERY sensitive to activity around their nests. If you bother them, they may fly away and MAY NOT BREED THAT YEAR.  If there are eggs in the nest they may abandon them; they may even abandon young birds. 

PLEASE READ THESE GUIDELINES and if you find a nest, make sure that you follow the information that is written here. I will add a PLEASE to that. Please let the birds breed, nest and raise their young in peace.  You can observe, but read the information below so you know what you should and should not do. Again - PLEASE.  

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Northeast Texas Bird Report - April 2016


Northeast Texas Bird Report  - April 2016

This is the NETFO bird report for April.    Highlights include two Swallow-tailed Kites, a White-tailed Kite, a Pacific Loon, a Cinnamon Teal,  Hudsonian Godwits, Wild Turkeys, and Bobolinks.  Thanks to all who birded and sent in their results and thanks again to Luanne for everything.

Found in six counties, the peak of 20 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were found at Cedar Creek Reservoir in Henderson county on 4/17 (ebird MS).  A single Ross’s Goose was reported from a new location in Quitman in Wood county on 4/2 (ebird TK), while the “normal” one in Rains county was tallied on 4/23 (ebird BC,GC,SG).  A Cinnamon Teal was recorded at RC WMA in Freestone county on 4/17 (ebird DC,DL).  Five Red-breasted Mergansers were tallied at LTW in Van Zandt county on 4/12 (ebird RK).

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Northeast Texas Bird Report - February 2016

This is the NETFO bird report for February.  A Vermilion Flycatcher, a Painted Bunting, Sandhill Cranes and an American Bittern top this month’s highlights.  Thanks to all who birded and sent in their results and thanks again to Luanne for everything.


Greater White-fronted Geese were restricted to RC WMA in Freestone county with a max of 25 photographed on 2/14 (ebird MS).  Noted in six counties the max of 200 Snow Geese were tallied in Bonham in Fannin county on 2/13 (ebird ML).  The single Ross’s Goose at Lake Bob Sandlin that has been there for a long, long, long time, has a friend!  I believe it was three winters ago when this happened before, so for now they are a pair (DB,LB).   The only other report of Ross’s Geese came from Bonham where 50 were tallied on 2/13 (ebird ML).  Found in 13 counties, the peak of 120 Canada Geese were tallied in Fannin county flying north on 2/12 (ebird HL).  

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I Can See Clearly Now - How a New Lens Changes Perspective

Chickadee - Taken with new lens 18-300mm
NewLens18 300092315 069

I added a new lens this week, a Nikon 18-300 Zoom  (AF-5 DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR to be exact).

Naturally, I had to stick it on my camera and immediately start shooting.  The light conditions were not great for it was near dusk and most of my yard was in shadow.  However, the birds were active on my feeders so I sat on my steps and took a few shots.  

The Chickadee was kind enough to pose.  The picture of him, shown here was shot in aperture priority and handheld so it is a little soft, but it shows promise.  It shows what the lens is capable of doing.  

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